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Webber Named One of 35 Under 35 by AIChE

Nina Welding • DATE: August 11, 2017

Categories:  Press Release

The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and the Young Professionals Committee, with support from the AIChE Foundation, has decided to annually recognize its young professional members for their outstanding contributions as well as their tremendous promise. Matthew Webber, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and director of the Supramolecular Engineering Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame, has been named one of the elite 35 individuals who are part of the inaugural Class of 2017. According to the AIChE, these young professionals exemplify the best of the profession and its breadth and are already changing the face of chemical engineering. Webber and the other recipients are highlighted in the August issue of CEP magazine and will be honored during an awards reception at the AIChE Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, Minn., later this year.

Webber also holds appointments in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Harper Cancer Research Institute, Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics at Notre Dame, Warren Center for Drug Discovery and the University’s Center for Nano Science and Technology. He was selected as honoree specifically for his efforts in bioengineering and will continue his efforts to advance therapeutic strategies on the molecular level in hopes to affect clinical applications and human health. “I would love to look back on my career and be able to point to a technology originating from my lab that directly made a meaningful impact on improving healthcare for people,” he says. In accepting the award, Webber cited his passion for mentoring and advising students toward forming leaders of the future. Webber presently has nine trainees working in his lab, including many Notre Dame undergraduates, and hopes to inspire in them a desire to offer creative solutions to complex problems.

In some of his recent work, Webber and his team developed a new way to improve the stability of common protein drugs and extend their shelf life, increasing their effectiveness from approximately 14 hours to more than 100 days. He is also evaluating new strategies rooted in molecular engineering to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of cancer drugs while reducing side-effects, and others that can sense and respond to disease indicators for smarter therapies.

He was also recently named to the Class of 2017 Emerging Investigators by Biomaterials Science and has received the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (2013), the Dudley Childress Award (2012) from Northwestern University and Acta Biomaterialia Student Award (2011).

A faculty member since 2016, Webber received his doctorate (2011) and master’s in biomedical engineering from Northwestern University and his bachelor’s (2006) in chemical engineering from Notre Dame. Prior to returning to the University, he served as an NIH Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he conducted research in drug formulation and delivery.

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